Kashmiri photojournalist Showkat Nanda remembers the day he captured his own iconic image of resistance.

Showkat Nanda | |


Showkat Nanda took this picture of a young Kashmiri boy throwing stones at an armoured vehicle in the summer of 2009 just moments after another young boy, shot by Indian security forces, had died in his arms [Showkat Nanda]

When I shot this picture in the summer of 2009, I remembered the image of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, Faris Odeh, standing in front of an Israeli tank, alone, with just a stone in his hand.

Ten days after Odeh’s picture was taken, he was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in another stone throwing incident. He became a hero and his iconic image a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation. Then, I had not imagined that a Faris Odeh was being raised in every second home in Kashmir.

My job as a news photographer has taken me to different places and diverse situations – safe, peaceful, violent and dangerous. But after the 2008 uprising, now known as Kashmir’s second Intifada, my job led me to a place where death comes easily – the frontlines of a new form of resistance in Kashmir, the ‘war of stones’.

This appallingly disproportionate war entered its bloodiest phase during the summer of 2010, when it consumed more than 100 young lives. Kashmir’s streets had become the battleground for this war in which young men and children carrying stones in their hands stood in front of armoured vehicles and heavily armed soldiers; eyeball to eyeball. A single hit in the head or chest could leave you on the ground, dead.

Last summer’s images of Kashmir often take me back a year to when, in the wake of the Shopian twin rape and murder, the valley was plunged into yet another period of unrest.

The bridge of battle

Cement Bridge in northern Kashmir’s Baramulla town has become one of the symbols of resistance against Indian rule. The local people call it ‘the bridge of battle’ and some say the angel of death lives there for it has consumed so many young lives – mostly during violent clashes between protesters and paramilitary soldiers.

One day I witnessed this for myself as a child of barely 12 years old lay in my arms, his life slipping away, breath by breath.

It was a rainy afternoon and mild clashes were taking place between protesters and paramilitary forces. I was sat some 100 metres away from the bridge looking through photographs on my camera’s LCD. Suddenly I heard a rumble of gunfire followed by loud shouts. I saw three or four youth coming towards me carrying an injured boy, his blood leaving a trail on the ground behind them. I ran towards them and took the blood-drenched, half dead child in my lap, pleading with the people around us to call an ambulance.

Nearly a dozen desperate young boys formed a ring around us, each suggesting ways of saving his life. But I knew he was not going to make it. The bullet that had pierced the left side of his chest had left a gaping wound.

He lay in my arms, blood oozing from his mouth. I felt choked but tried to smile as I told him he was going to be alright. He smiled back, perhaps in disappointment, for he knew I was lying. Tears welled up in my eyes but I looked up at the sky as I tried to stop them from falling. I did not want my eyes to convey that his death was near, very near.

The second time I looked up at the sky to hold back my tears, I felt a freezing numbness in his body. His smile had turned into a ghastly stare. He was dead. Hundreds had already gathered, shouting ‘Shaheed ki jo mout hai, Woh qaum ki hayat hai’ – meaning ‘the death of a martyr is life for a nation’.

I did not know him or his name. But before he was taken away, he was able to rest in peace in my arms for a moment. This must be the peace India keeps talking about, I thought.

Death of innocence, birth of defiance

I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw stones. Not one, not two, but millions of them. But, apart from clenching my teeth, I could do nothing. With the burden of journalism hanging around my neck, I felt powerless. It was dangerous for a journalist to take sides, I had been told.

By now the battleground had been deserted; no one dared face the soldiers in case they should open fire again. But just a few minutes later a small child appeared as if from nowhere. He ran towards the paramilitaries throwing stones at their armoured vehicle, seemingly without worry about being chased, beaten, arrested or shot. I overheard somebody say that the stone-throwing boy had been a schoolmate of the one who had just died in my arms.

In those few moments I had simultaneously witnessed the death of innocence and the birth of defiance. Here was a child challenging a mighty state with just a stone in his hand. That is when I shot this image and left the spot with the dead boy’s blood on my clothes.

Every night I would dream of the boy who died in my arms and think of revenge. I felt restless whenever the image of his lifeless face appeared before my eyes. And I would stare at the picture of his stone-throwing schoolmate for hours; the boy’s defiance seemed to represent my emotions. The more I looked at it, the more it seemed to convey.

In his act, I could feel a blatant rejection of the lies imposed upon these children. Through every pebble he tossed at the bulletproof vehicle, he seemed to be saying: “Look, I am in front of your gun barrel for a purpose, and by choice. I am not an accidental revolutionary getting paid for every stone I throw, neither am I a misguided puppet as the world is made to believe. I am not a suicidal maniac either, obsessed with coming out of this dreadful game of death as a martyr. I am here demanding a different life – a life where the land I belong to exists as a nation on the map of the world; where I do not live and die with an uncertain identity. A life where there are no bunkers, no checkpoints and no barriers of coiled razor wire; where I am not greeted by gun-wielding soldiers on my way to school; where my parents are not humiliated every day; where my tiffin box and school bag are not searched for weapons; where I am not killed in a playground with a cricket ball still in my hand; and where I am not thrown into the shadows of despair and frustration.”

Ultimately, thus, he became my hero, my Faris Odeh.

A bullet for a stone

For youngsters like him, throwing stones expresses the anger they have long been harbouring against those they see as usurpers of their land. It is their way of knowing and identifying with the problems of their homeland. It becomes an antidote to the horrors they have suffered ever since they were born; horrors which nurture an early political awareness, making them more rebellious than my own generation born during the 1980s.

I remember how, during the early 1990s when I was I child, my parents never allowed me to take part in anti-India demonstrations for fear that would mean not returning home alive. In those days, government forces would often fire indiscriminately upon demonstrators.

After the deaths of my brother and teenage cousin, my parents would warn me that the family could not afford another martyr. But I would ignore their warnings, wearing slippers on my hands to escape quietly via back windows, to go and join the demonstrations. But I never pelted stones. In the presence of the gun it seemed such a futile and dangerous pastime.

Two decades on, what I have found is an immense transformation or rather an intensification of almost everything – of the anger felt and the methods of resistance employed. Back then it was a bullet for a bullet; now it is a bullet for a stone. Then parents would prevent their children from joining the protests, now they encourage them. They have no other choice; they cannot see their children cocooned into a political breathlessness. This political suffocation has turned everyone into a rebel. And I am no exception.

In August 2010, I was covering a demonstration in Baramulla organised to protest against recent killings. The procession, which included hundreds of elderly men and children, was so large that its head and tail were almost half a kilometre apart. The boys were advised by their elders to be peaceful and disciplined and they obeyed.

When the procession reached the Cement Bridge, the protesters found that a bevy of policemen and paramilitary soldiers sitting strategically in packed rows, shoulder to shoulder, had blocked their way.

Behind them stood a couple of armoured vehicles with menacing multi-barrel teargas launchers on top. The protesters stopped nearly 30 feet away from the airtight barrier of uniformed men and sat down peacefully for they knew they would not be allowed to proceed further. On the other side, the soldiers looked intently through their translucent shields at the slogan-raising protesters.

Suddenly, I heard a deafening bang, then two, then three until there was complete confusion. I could see a barrage of stun grenades and teargas canisters flying over my head. Then I heard the sound of gunfire.

Everyone ran, coughing. I also ran with my eyes closed and my hands covering the back of my head to prevent it from being hit by a teargas shell. Crying children, shouting people and thousands of pounding feet created chaos. With my throat stinging from the smoke and my eyes still closed, I thought of a news anchor who, on an Indian news channel the night before, had said: “The security forces only fire in self-defence. If they don’t, they could be lynched by the frenzied mob.”

I felt a rage building up inside me against not only the soldiers but the TV news anchor as well. With my eyes half shut, I could faintly see a dense fog of teargas smoke and anger. Some of the elderly protesters and a few children had collapsed on the ground and the whole situation had developed into a confrontation with hundreds of protesters, young and old, throwing stones at the paramilitaries.

Haunted by the hellish images of Kashmir

The moment I opened my eyes fully, I found myself at the exact spot where, a year before, the wounded boy had died in my arms. I felt breathless as I thought of him. I remembered his smile and his frail, blood-drenched body.

I remembered all the pictures, thousands of them, I had taken of dead children, wailing mothers, humiliated fathers and destroyed homes – the pictures which had been haunting me for years. Kashmir’s hellish images seemed to follow me – like the macabre image of a father being showered with kicks and blows as he tried to protect his dead son’s body from being desecrated.

I also remembered the last kiss my brother gave me just days before he was killed and my teenage cousin who was shot dead at the same place during a protest 20 years earlier. I remembered the pain and bloodshed of my people. Each image flashed before my eyes and I felt angry, really angry. I did not want to live with this anger forever.

The journalist in me tried to calm my emotions down. Words like unbiased, neutrality and objectivity passed through my mind. But the rage I felt overwhelmed them. By being merely a witness to the events around me, I felt I was being the most subjective person on earth. It seemed the worst degree of partiality, almost a crime. The most valuable lesson of being neutral that I had been taught as a journalism student seemed so ridiculous here. I remembered the journalist in the Oscar-winning Bosnian film No Man’s Land, saying: “Neutrality does not exist in the face of murder. Doing nothing to stop it is, in fact, choosing, [it] is not being neutral.”

I looked around and took the most edgy stone I could find in my hand. It felt firm and satisfying. I held it in my hand – a piece of solid joy, not a dream. Proceeding to throw it at what Kashmiris see as the symbols of occupation, I stood at the same spot where the boy is seen in my picture. I confess I felt completely transformed – from an emasculated snap-shooter into a man of stone.

I deliberately aimed my stone at a bulletproof armoured vehicle. I did not want to harm a soldier. I just wanted to give an expression to my rage and to keep alive in me, what the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, called the “disease of hope”.

Then I picked up more stones and threw them. It was not a futile pastime anymore. Here I was amidst my own people and emotions; away from the platitude of false rhetoric, the impotence of political handshakes and the sterility of dialogue tables, which I had once believed could lead us out of the shackles of 60 years of political uncertainty.

That day I felt like a hero. Then I thought of the real heroes – hundreds of little Kashmiri children just like the boy in my picture.

Whenever I look at this picture, one thing always comes to my mind – the courage of a stolen childhood and, of course, the pain of a stolen land.

What became of this faceless boy is still a mystery to me. A few hours after I took this picture, someone told me that two more young boys were shot dead later that day, not far from the place where this boy was standing. Since then I have tried hard to trace him but without success. Whether I would be able to find him again or if he too met the fate of Faris Odeh, I do not know.

Showkat Nanda is an award-winning Kashmiri freelance photojournalist.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/kashmirtheforgottenconflict/2011/08/201181712134503487.html

His left lung ruptured and bleeding, chest consumed by pneumothorax-accumulation of gas-eight-year-old Junaid Mehraj from Nawab Bazar, Srinagar, who some say was a protester and others a bystander, has been hit by pellets.Across the aisle at SMHS hospital here, Adil, a 22-year-old from Anantnag, is blinded.

If there’s growing debate around use of pellets by the CRPF in containing the unrest in Kashmir, there’s no trace of it here. In the last 24 hours, more than 30 people with pellets wounds have been brought to Srinagar’s primary hospital. The SMHS hospital, which now looks like a clinic in a war zone, has by some accounts a massive 1,200 patients being treated for pellet injuries to the eyes.

Resident medical officer, Dr Shafkat Rasool, told TOI that 800 others have bullet wounds. “There are over 2,000 patients brought here after violence broke out on July 9. Doctors have pooled in resources and all are working 14 to 15 hours daily to han dle the rush. There’s chaos all around. It’s pathetic,“ he said. The CRPF told the J&K HC recently that it had fired 1.3 million pellets in 32 days of protest -the numbers have gone up since–but that if these are banned, its men will be forced to fire bullets to push back stone-pelting mobs which charge at them in hundreds, often thousands.

The forces said pellet guns were introduced in 2010, by the NC government led by Omar Abdullah, who is now asking for an end to it.

After images of 14-year-old Insha Malik appeared in the media, her eyes bandaged and blinded by pellets, she became the personification of damage caused by these deadly weapons. Amnesty International, which has been saying pellet guns are “inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate“, and that their utilisation is “not in line with international standards on use of force“, has reiterated its opposition to it. Referring to an RTI reply , the Wire in a recent report said pellet guns are not on the list of 10 non-lethal weapons suggested by the Bureau of Police Research and Development in its standard operating procedure for tackling violence.

With violence spiralling out of control and curfew for 45 days -the death toll was 67 on Monday-all eyes are on the panel constituted on July 26 to submit its report on pellet guns.

After 12 years, BSF deployed in Srinagar

The Border Security Force, which was taken off counterinsurgency operations in J&K in 2004, was on Monday deployed in Srinagar after 12 years. BSF personnel were deployed in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk in the city and adjoining areas for law and order duties, a police official said. Civil administration officials, BSF and police brass refused to comment on the deployment.

 http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31804&articlexml=8-yr-olds-torn-lung-testifies-to-pellet-23082016011026

  • Abhishek Saha, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • |

Kashmiri protesters shout pro-freedom slogans following the death of teenager Irfan Ahmad in downtown area of Srinagar on Monday. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

A crowd carried a teen on their shoulders, marching towards what appeared to be a Tricolour painted on the road in a narrow alley in Downtown Srinagar. Green flags — Pakistani and Islamic — fluttered as the young man led the chants: “Iss par bhi lenge/Uss par bhi lenge” and the crowd followed with “azaadi”.

The painted image depicting the Indian national flag was trampled upon as the mass of bodies passed.

A masked Kashmiri protestor paints a graffiti representing the Indian flag on a road during a protest in downtown Srinagar. (AFP)

Curfew-struck Srinagar saw intense protests on Monday as scores of men and women came out in the Fateh Kadal area to protest against the killing of 18-year-old Irfan Ahmad, an auto-rickshaw river who died when a tear-gas shell hit his chest and ruptured his heart on Sunday evening. He was ‘brought dead’ to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital, taking the death toll to 67 in the ongoing crisis.

Men and women stood in separate groups and shouted anti-India slogans and sang protest songs, punctuated with: “Mera bhaai, tera bhaai/ Burhan bhaai Burhan bhaai”, referring to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, whose killing in an encounter with security forces on July 8 triggered the protests in the Valley.

On Monday, HT visited Fateh Kadal, which falls in the old city area, and spoke with Irfan’s brother Ejaz Ahmad and friends. People, including a sister of the deceased, defied curfew to attend protests in the area. Relatives wept to mourn their dead.

Ejaz remembered Irfan as a hardworking auto-rickshaw driver who had brought his second rickshaw a few days back. “He was a warm-hearted and hardworking boy,” he said.

Relatives said Irfan was returning home in the evening after visiting his newlywed sister, and was not part of the protests.

Relatives of Irfan Ahmad,, who was killed by a tear gas shell, cry as residents visit the family to offer their condolences in downtown area of Srinagar on Monday. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

The police version of the events, however, defers — they said Irfan was among the protestors pelting stones at the time of the incident. He became a target of the shell when the forces used it to quell protests.

Friends on the other hand refuse to believe Irfan was part of the protesting mob, and claim he was “targeted”.

“He was a fighter for freedom. The local policemen knew him and previously there were instances when they had threatened him with dire consequences,” said a friend who did not wish to be named.

“Irfan was the main breadwinner of the family. They had lost their father last year,” another friend added.

Police personnel chase Kashmiri youth who defied curfew to protest against the death of teenager Irfan Ahmad in security forces action, in downtown area of Srinagar on Monday. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

Late on Sunday night, when the news of Irfan’s death spread, scores of people gathered at the famous Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and offered funeral prayers. Sources said paramilitary soldiers were withdrawn to avoid confrontation with the protesting youth coming out in parts of the old city.

Overall, Srinagar remained tense throughout the day on Monday as civil life remained paralysed for the 45th straight day. Curfew and restrictions remained in places across the Valley.

Separatists have already extended the ongoing protest shutdown till August 25.

Rallies and protest marches were reported from Shopian district and Sopore town of Kashmir, while a few incidents of stone-pelting were reported in Srinagar.http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/a-day-later-protests-erupt-in-curfew-bound-srinagar-over-youth-s-death/s

Shabir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was killed and 18 others sustained injuries when they were thrashed by army personnel who were conducting nocturnal raids to arrest stone pelters in the area.

A security jawan stands guard during night curfew in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Sunday. (PTI Photo)Shabir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was killed and 18 others sustained injuries when they were thrashed by army personnel who were conducting nocturnal raids to arrest stone pelters in the area. (File Photo)Amid the outrage in Kashmir, Army Friday said actions by its soldiers, like the one in which a lecturer was killed, will not be tolerated. “These raids were not sanctioned in the first place. It is unjustified. Nobody can support it and it will not be tolerated,” Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda told reporters here.

He said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident that took place during the intervening night of August 17 and 18 in Khrew area of Pulwama district. Shabir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was killed and 18 others sustained injuries when they were thrashed by army personnel who were conducting nocturnal raids to arrest stone pelters in the area.

Asked about the circumstances that led to the incident, the army commander said according to the information he has, the troops came under stone pelting by the mobs. “The instructions are there to exercise maximum restraint but these are difficult times. The security forces are facing tough times and sometimes things get out of hand,” he added.

The J&K government registered a case of murder against the “Army and others” on Thursday. Residents of Sharshali said scores were injured when the Army personnel entered the village Wednesday night and hit people with “rods and planks with nails”.

Lecturer Shabir Ahmad Mango, among those taken away by the Army personnel, was brought dead to Pampore hospital early Thursday.
Block Medical Officer Dr Saba told The Indian Express: “He (Shabir) was brought here by police at 5.30 in the morning. He was brought dead. He had external injuries on the face and chest.”

Abdul Majeed, a resident of Sharshali, said Army personnel came to the village Wednesday night. “It was around 10.30 pm when Army vehicles entered our village from different directions. The men entered every house. They were also carrying rods and planks with nails. Anyone who came in their way was beaten up.”http://indianexpress.com/article/india/kashmir-lecturer-killing-army-raids-apology-2985566/

A security man with apellet gun.– File PHOTO

A security man with apellet gun.– File PHOTO

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday that it used 1.3 million pellets in 32 days in Kashmir to control street protests.

In response to a public interest litigation seeking a ban on pellet guns that has left more than 400 injured in their eyes, the CRPF in its affidavit admitted that “it was difficult to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) given the nature of the protests.”

It said 3,000 pellet cartridges, or around 1.3 million pellets, were fired from the pump action guns.

While informing the High Court that “pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted weapon of riot control,” it said: “In case this (pellet shotgun) is withdrawn, the CRPF would have no recourse in extreme situations but to open fire with rifles, which may cause more fatalities.”

The CRPF said it has used 14 types of “less lethal and non-lethal” munitions to control crowds, including oleoresin grenades, pepper balls, stun grenades and electric shells.

According to the CRPF Inspector General, 8,650 tear-smoke shells were used from July 8 to August 11. ”Around 2,671 plastic pellets have been used too,” he said.

The CRPF, while admitting that the weapon should be aimed below the waist, argued that “the situation prevailing on the streets during the ongoing law and order incident is dynamic and mobile.”

The use of pellet guns has come under sharp focus both from political class as well as human rights bodies.

In another development, the body of a youth, Shabir Ahmad Mir, who was killed in firing by security forces, was exhumed on Thursday morning on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The police claim Mir died when security forces fire from non-lethal weapons. However, the family alleged that Deputy Superintendent of Police Yasir Qadri shot dead their son in the house “in cold blood.”

The body was exhumed under the supervision of the District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Rashid Ali. The family members of Mir were also present.

The body was later shifted to Government Medical College, where scan and X-ray was conducted.

Last week, the SC ordered the exhumation to “ascertain cause of death”.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/13-million-pellets-used-in-32-days-crpf-tells-hc/article9005202.ece

Kashmir Under Siege

Posted: August 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

kashi

SEEMA MUSTAFA
Thursday, August 18,2016

NEW DELHI: A young lecturer from Khrew, in Kashmir has been beaten to death by the Army that has confirmed the horrific incident by expressing “regret.”

The images coming out of Kashmir are too horrific to publish, and the reports—although more black and white—stand testimony to what is clearly a ‘no restraint’ policy to deal with the people of the state. Except for a couple of newspapers outside the Valley, particularly the Indian Express, Kashmir has remained off the front pages despite the increasing violence within.

The Army went into the houses of residents in Khrew in Pulwama district, beat people mercilessly and rounded up several who they took away with them. According to the locals the soldiers were carrying wooden planks embedded with nails,and took at least 20-30 young people into custody. Photographs of the injuries sustained by some are in circulation if the PDP-BJP cares to look at these and investigate the incident.

Mangoo was beaten so badly that he stopped breathing, and again according to eyewitness accounts, he was “dying” when taken later to the police station. He gasped for water, no one bothered to give him water or get medical aid, and he died.

Is this humanity? Are Kashmiris now just the ‘enemy’ to be targeted and killed? Unable to link all protests to the terror organisations operating out of Pakistan despite systemic propaganda, unable to colour all the young people on the streets as terrorists, unable to paint Kashmiris as Pakistanis given the statements and letters written even by young teenage girls discounting this propaganda, a directive seems to have been issued to muzzle the protests. And judging from the stepped up operations this, regardless of the damage to innocent human lives.

The Opposition parties have been urging dialogue, and an end to the violence by the state forces. Instead this has been stepped up with the Army now seizing control of areas, with again the Valley flushed with rumours of Army rule. The question had been asked earlier as well by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a Rajya Sabha discussion on the issue to which the latter had claimed that this was not at all possible, and the thought had not even crossed his mind. However, the Army is supplementing the CrPF in specific areas such as Khrew where one man has now died in custody.

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat has pointed out that the Prime Minister in the all party meeting, “applauded the security personnel for showing restraint in dealing with the current situation in the valley. This despite the inhuman blinding, maiming and killing of scores of young men and women.”

The Congress that has now got confused with Balochistan and Kashmir, however, has still asked for a dialogue with all sections in the Valley. Party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad held a press conference pointing to the deteriorating situation in the Valley and emphasising the need for immediate dialogue to help diffuse the situation.

The National Conference has also held an all party meeting in Srinagar to focus attention on the situation but the combined voice of the Opposition is not being heard by the governments. And no longer by the people either, with Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer reportedly facing an irate crowd when he tried to visit a hospital in Srinagar. The anger is intense now.

The All Party meeting held on Kashmir, with PM Modi and all leaders of the Opposition, was a bit of a farce according to sources who attended it. PM Narendra Modi read out from a prepared text for about seven minutes, after which the Opposition leaders reiterated what they had said in Parliament. And the meeting ended with no conclusive assurances, not even that of an all party parliamentary delegation to meet the victims and all shades of political opinion in the Valley.

Meanwhile, the situation is worsening “not just by the day but by the hour” as a senior academic from Kashmir said. Many experts here who have been dealing with the Valley point out that large scale human casualties will be suffered –more than permissible by international laws—-if the government decides to control the present unrest with the gun. Dialogue is what the Opposition and many experts have been openly demanding but clearly this is not an option that the government is considering at the moment.

The problem with this approach is that Kashmir can no longer be occupied as territory, the times have changed since the 1990s, and delay will also make dialogue impossible. At this point in time the young generation is still listening to the elders advising caution, but as several told this writer, the situation is fast slipping out of control with the youth becoming more and more against dialogue.

New Delhi will, in the process, lose not just its grip but its ability to determine the course of action in the Valley. The baton of decision making will pass into the hands of angry young peops and abuse from which Kashmir has still not recovered; it is impossible when the protesters are the masses of young people of a state we claim as an integral part of India.

(Cover Photo by Basit Zargar is of the relatives of a Tengpora youth Shabir Ahmed Mir whose body was exhumed on Thursday for a post mortem. His family said that he was shot dead in cold blood by a DSP rank officer in July. No FIR was filed but after a legal battle, orders were given for a post mortem amidst strict security)http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/1/8494/Kashmir-Under-Siege

SRINAGAR: In further deterioration of the situation in Kashmir, six persons were shot dead by the forces since Friday evening while a teenager who was undergoing treatment at Srinagar hospital succumbed to injuries, taking the death toll to 65.

A 10th class boy, Muhammad Yasir Sheikh was killed by forces in Batmaloo area of the summer capital on Friday evening, triggering massive clashes in the area.

16-year old Sheik, according to his friends, was out on a walk when he was hit by bullets in his chest, barely a kilometer away from his home.

“He was brought dead to hospital,” a doctor said.

This morning four youth were killed in firing by forces in Beerwah constituency of Budgam district in central Kashmir, day after the area has witnessed protests and clashes between youth and forces.

All the four killed persons were from Aripanthan village in Beerwah which is the home constituency of former chief minister Omar Abdullah.

A local doctor said at least 16 persons, including three women, sustained injuries in forces’ action in the area. The condition of two injured persons is said to be critical and they are undergoing treatment at SK-Institute of Medical Science in Srinagar.

“The two injured persons have bullet injuries. Their condition is very critical though they have been operated upon,” said a doctor at the hospital.

In another incident in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Army opened fire on people at Larkipora village of Dooru killing a teenager and wounding more than 12 persons.

Eighteen-year old Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat of Tangmarg in north Kashmir, who had suffered pellet injuries in his head, succumbed Friday evening.

The pellets had perforated Bhat’s skull, causing severe damage to his brain, a doctor said.

With situation deteriorating, authorities on Tuesday imposed massive clampdown in the summer capital and major parts of the Valley which continued to reel under curfew for the 39th straight day post Burhan encounter on July 8.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit out at her successor Mehbooba Mufti for not owning up responsibility for the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

“Between 2009-14 everything was my fault but as of the last 4 months nothing is @MehboobaMufti’s fault (sic),” Omar wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, five militants were killed and a Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel of Army injured when Army foiled an infiltration bid along Line of Control in Uri Sector of Baramulla district in north Kashmir on Monday. During the gunfight, which took place at Gawalta area along the LoC, commanding officer sustained minor injuries. Also, in the Srinagar gunfight between militants and forces which ended late Mondayafternoon both the militants were killed.

(Photograph by Basit Zargar)

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/3/8471/Six-Shot-Dead-in-Two-Days-By-Security-Forces-in-Kashmir


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